Wild buckwheat

Polygonum convolvulus L.

Life cycle

Twining summer annual vine. 

wild buckwheat plant
Wild buckwheat plant. 


Cotyledons are oblong-oval to linear. Leaves are alternate, hairless and heart- to triangle-shaped with a pointed tip and smooth margins.

wild buckwheat seedling wild buckwheat leaf
Wild buckwheat seedling (left) and leaf (right).


Twining, herbaceous, smooth vines branch at the base and are less than 3 feet long. A membranous sheath (ocrea) surrounds the stem at the base of each petiole. 

Flowers and fruit

Flowers are inconspicuous and green to white or pink. The seed is enclosed in a single-seeded, dull black, three-sided fruit.

wild buckwheat fruit wild buckwheat flowers
Fruit of wild buckwheat (left). Wild buckwheat flowers (right).



Similar weeds

Mile-a-minute (P. perfoliatum L.) Differs by having downward-pointing prickles on the stems, petioles and leaf veins.

Tartary buckwheat [Fagopyrum tataricum (L.) Gaertn.] Differs by having a more erect habit, arrow-shaped leaves and a grooved, hollow stem. 

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The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.